The Elusive Effects of Demography on Rates of Return
Projected large changes in demographic profiles of developed countries over the next fifty years have led to increasing interest in the relationship between population structure and macroeconomic performance. Because demographic changes tend to be very slow, empirical analysis requires long time data sets, and this means that there is little evidence available for the likely effects of these changes. This paper addresses the problem by using panel data for 1900-1999 for sixteen developed countries to investigate the effects of population structure on rates of return. It concludes that there is no obvious direct relationship between demographics and rates of return, although there may be some indirect effect via the growth rate of the GDP.
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